Of Song and Water by Joseph Coulson

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Moving from the Great Lakes to the jazz bars of Detroit and Chicago, Of Song and Water is a tale of singlehanded sailors and jazz musicians, of working-class dreams blighted by family duty, personal betrayals, and the untold violence between fathers and sons. The novel follows the life of Coleman Moore, a jazz guitarist of early fame who finds himself adrift and in the company of ghosts: his mentor, a black jazz legend trying to live peacefully on the edge of a white town; his grandfather, a Prohibition rumrunner turned ruthless entrepreneur; and his first love, a clear-headed woman who refuses to live in the dark tunnels of the past. As he abandons music and turns his mind to a damaged sailboat, Coleman begins a hazardous course, risking the love of his daughter and the trust of Brian James, his longtime collaborator and friend. Driven by mid-life doubts, Coleman revisits his early ambitions and desires, returning through a maze of time and memory to the central crisis of his life, a moment of tremendous cruelty that calls into question much of what he hopes for and believes. In language that evokes the riffs and rhythms of jazz and the sound and movement of the Great Lakes, Joseph Coulson’s second novel is a profound Orphic journey, a story of hidden truths, unfulfilled dreams, and possible redemption.

About Joseph Coulson

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Joseph Coulson is the author of three books of poetry and a full-length play, and has been the recipient of a Gray Writing Fellowship and the Tompkins Award in Poetry. The Vanishing Moon is his first novel. Coulson lives in the San Francisco Bay area.
Published July 1, 2010 by Archipelago. 290 pages
Genres: Horror, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Coulson (The Vanishing Moon ) mines a put-out-to-pasture jazz guitarist's halcyon past and hardscrabble present in a poignant sophomore outing. It's 2003

Jan 15 2007 | Read Full Review of Of Song and Water

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